Yesterday’s post was all about the choices we make how we want them to lead to better, but maybe they just lead to different. Today is …. Well, today is different.
What about individuals who battle long term illness; or those left behind by loved ones who have died, some unexpectedly through trauma? That’s a tough one. When the choice wasn’t theirs to make; when their vision for the future was shattered in an instant; when it’s easier to see the defective instead of the effective, what then? How can they transform bitter into better? The only answer is God and His word; immersion in scripture because that is the only healing for a shattered spirit. We can’t go on to better until our spirit is put back together. In these times we lack peace and our vision which was so vivid yesterday, is today clouded over by loss. The New Living Translation of Philippians 4:6-7 expresses it well “Do not worry. Learn to pray about everything. Give thanks to God as you ask Him for what you need. The peace of God is much greater than the human mind can understand. This peace will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Pray through the day; moment by moment. It’s a choice to exchange bitter for better. I love these verses in Ephesians 4:26-27 from the Message “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” Be angry – tell God how you feel; but don’t stay angry. To stay angry invites Satan to come in and take up residence in your heart. Remember that shattered spirit? God and Satan cannot coexist in the same place. Kick Satan out so God can have all of your spirit; all of you. What would Jesus do? Well, look what he did in Matthew 4:10. From the Message “Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.” Beat it, Satan. Get out of my way – better coming through!
In Colossians 2:6-7 Paul reveals the secret to better. “My [Paul] counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him… know how to live in faith …. Do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And live in thanksgiving. “
Then Paul gives us the big, flashing yellow caution light. He knows how vulnerable we are to the opinions of over people. How often do we run to human counsel when God is right there! So let’s continue with Colossians 2:8-12 “Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments and fruitless debate. That’s not the way of Christ. God expresses himself clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.”
My prayer is that this has helped raise you up a little bit and gives you courage to keep going.